Right Call By Ocean City To Not Accept Proposal
I applaud our Ocean City officials who refused to accept the offer of goodies from Big Wind in exchange for dropping opposition to wind farms in our viewshed.
Not so for the Interior Department, which bowed to a lobbying campaign by wind and oil companies by gutting the century-old Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The treaty, first signed by the US, Canada, and Britain in 1916 and codified by an act of Congress, has been one of our most effective environmental laws, protecting countless seabirds that migrate off the coasts of the North Atlantic.
Subsequent Congressional modifications of the Act have focused on protections for bird habitats.
Under the threat of regulatory action, wind companies had worked with the Fish and Wildlife Service to study bird migration patterns to find the best places to site their structures. No more.
Perhaps if this Act were still enforced, scientists would find that placing giant bird-killing wind turbines further offshore would lessen the impacts to wildlife. Could some species be driven to extinction by placing wind farms close to the coast? Now, we may never know until it’s too late.
It’s bad enough that Marylanders are forced to subsidize these wind companies with billions of dollars, but it’s really an outrage that our money could go to slaughter birds. There are better ways to lessen dependence on fossil fuels.
Several powerful environmental groups, including the Audubon Society and the Natural Resources Defense Council, are suing the Interior Department over this action. Perhaps Town officials could look into helping in some way with the lawsuit. After all, it’s not just our viewshed that’s at stake; it’s our ocean ecosystem and its value to tourism.
Our name says it all: We are OCEAN City.
West Ocean City
Column Deserved Criticism
As a Libertarian, I don’t always agree with conservative The Dispatch Editor/Publisher Steve Green. But I rarely agree with liberal Sun columnist Dan Rodricks.
This time Green nailed it in calling out Rodricks four his glib, facile insult of OC’s rejection of windfarms. Yes, I live on the beach and don’t wish to see “white twirlysticks on the ocean’s horizon.”
Group Inspired By Judge’s Permit Decision
The recent article by The Dispatch Staff Writer Charlene Sharpe regarding the reversal of the CAFO (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation) permit on Purnell Crossing Road near the Pocomoke River gave hope to our group, The Protectors of the St. Martin’s River. David Hofstetter, the administrative law judge, ruled that the Purnell Crossing CAFO would adversely affect the waters of the Pocomoke River. New permits, with stricter water quality protections, must be obtained by that CAFO, which is already being built.
The Protectors of the St. Martin’s River is a volunteer group made up of concerned citizens from Ocean Pines, Holiday Harbor, St. Martin’s By The Bay, River Run, and Rabbit Ridge Road on the Shingle Landing Prong. We hope to keep the proposed CAFO on Peerless Road in the public eye. We are working to stop the CAFO because of the damage it will cause our beloved river.
This proposed CAFO would adversely impact the quality of the waters in the St. Martin’s River. The temporary permit issued by the Maryland Department of the Environment allows for a zero discharge bio-retention pond. After the weeks of heavy rain we have experienced in the Ocean City area, it is very clear that a zero discharge pond is not possible when Mother Nature lets loose. The temporary permit also allows for temporary storage of manure and dead chickens under tarps. Rains such as we have had recently, and have had other years, would make short work of the temporary storage. Nitrites, nitrates, phosphorus and ammonia would flow into the headwaters of the St. Martin’s. We are working to prevent the final permits so that this CAFO will not get built on environmentally sensitive land.
St. Martin’s River is still slowly recovering from a processing plant that was closed between 2004 and 2006. The proposed Peerless Road CAFO would actually be built on the waste water irrigation fields of that old plant.
I have lived on the St. Martin’s since 1999. From my back deck, I watch many, many people use the rivere for crabbing, boating, sailing, fishing, et skiing and all the other activities to be enjoyed on a river. These are not only people who live along the river, but many are visitors from all over the world. St. Martin’s River opens into the Assawoman Bay, where there are many businesses which cater to visitors and native alike, including Seacrets, Fager’s Island and Macky’s On The Bay, to name a few. The quality of the water is important to these places.
Thank you for helping us keep this important issue in front of the public and the public officials who, we hope, are looking out for the good of the communities along the St. Martin’s River.